Awhile back I wrote a column about pre-cooling for racing. Researchers in Singapore recently published a study looking at ingesting an ice slurry before running a 10k. This means of pre-cooling before a hot race is practical and easy for most athletes.
The twelve participants ingested either an ice slurry (approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit) or an ambient temperature drink (approximately 88 degrees Fahrenheit) prior to their 15-minute warm-up. They consumed 8 grams of slurry or ambient drink per kilogram of body weight.
A couple of interesting things happened. First, the slurry drinkers experienced a rise in gastrointestinal temperature. I’m assuming this is the body’s response to the cold drink, increasing temperature to warm the solution for digestion.
Even with a transient temperature increase, the slurry drinkers had improved mean performance by 15 seconds for the entire 10k. The slurry runners’ mean pace was 7:18 per mile and the ambient solution drinkers ran 7:20.
If you are consuming fluids pre-race anyway, consuming an ice slurry drink may improve your performance.
Yeo, Z.W. et al, “Ice Slurry on Outdoor Running Performancein Heat”, International Journal of Sports Medicine: Issue EFirst, 2012.
I was near the 300 meter mark on the hill and caught this shot of Leipheimer shortly before he won the time trial and set a course record of 25:47.
When I went home and watched my recorded live coverage, what I noticed is that Leipheimer was wearing a pre-cooling vest during his warm-up.
With a bit of research, I found the vest is made by Game Ready. You can find more information about Radio Shack uses and the various uses of this system at this link.
Tejay Van Garderen appeared to be wearing a pre-cooling system as well, though I can’t find the manufacturer of the apparent gloves.
When preparing for the Olympic Games, I recall a presentation by a company named AvaCore. Though I don’t think Tejay’s glove is manufactured by AvaCore, hand cooling is used due to the heat dissipation characteristics of the human hand (and sole of the foot).
None of this was covered on the one-hour show, so I was glad to have the live version recorded.